Hightown Housing Association is delighted to have agreed a £100m Unsecured Green Private Placement across 12-15 year maturities, with five supportive institutional investors. The issue was over three times oversubscribed. NatWest acted as sole Private Placement agent and sole ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) structuring bank on the transaction.

Hightown has a strong track record of developing social housing with no exposure to outright sales activity, providing over 3,700 homes over the last ten years. Hightown is the fastest growing Housing Association according to a recent survey in Inside Housing. This transaction will enable Hightown to continue to deliver new high quality affordable housing in its core areas of operation.

This Private Placement also reflects Hightown’s ambitious Sustainability strategy evidenced through its Social Impact Report, strong EPC credentials (99% of stock EPC C or higher) and targeted strategies to prevent homelessness, support active resident involvement and to provide positive outcomes in Care and Supported Housing.

NatWest worked closely with Hightown to construct a Green Loan Framework, aligned with the four pillars of the LMA Green Loan Principles and UN SDGs 7, 9, 11 and 13.

Speaking about the issuance, David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown Housing Association, said: “We are delighted to have been able to agree this funding from five investors new to Hightown, and one new to the sector. This £100m Green Private Placement, borrowed on an unsecured basis, adds a welcome degree of flexibility to the funding of our development programme. The funds will be used to deliver affordable homes with high levels of energy efficiency in our core areas of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire where there is substantial need and demand. We are pleased to have been able to satisfy the investors both on the solidity of our current operations and also on our plans for delivering social impact and sustainable homes in the future.”

David Skinner, Director of Financial Services at Hightown, said: "We are very pleased to have completed this deal. The timetable for delivery was tight and the work involved was quite intense. The pricing was very competitive and investor interest was strong. We were very happy with the service and support from the NatWest team and our other advisors."

Sonia Gadhia, Director, Private Placements at NatWest, said: “This is the first time that I have seen US and Canadian Private Placement investors come together with UK Infrastructure funds to collectively invest in a Housing Association, including an investor new to the Social Housing PP market. It’s great to see the increasing interest for this sector across a diverse set of investors and to see that more investors are open to looking at unsecured issuance. I am very proud to be part of this important milestone for Hightown which will be critical in enabling them to develop more affordable, energy efficient homes.”

George Flynn, NatWest Debt & Financing Solutions, said: “The level of oversubscription and flexibility achieved is testament to the strength of Hightown’s offering to market and management’s work on the roadshow and subsequent investor Q&A. The Green Loan Framework showcases Hightown’s modern and energy efficient portfolio and strong ESG credentials and NatWest’s innovative approach of embedding sustainability technology in the Private Placement market. This provides a great platform for Hightown to attract further unsecured issuance in the future and demonstrates NatWest’s continued support for the Housing Association sector.”

The transaction was also supported by Link Group, Devonshires LLP and Greenberg Traurig.